Installation (glass, steel, vinyl, hardware, rainwater, sapwood, signage), 2019. I harvested rainwater from the roof of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, filtered it through a piece of pine wood, and offered it to the public, along with a text complicating the proposition of drinking it.
Produced collaboratively with Namulen Bayarsaihan, Orhontuul Banzragch, Bat-Orgil Batulga, Dashdondog Badam (and family), Saruul Artist Residency, Selenge, Mongolia, 2019. We brought manufactured turf to a nomadic herding family’s home on common grazing lands, borrowed their table, and used it to ceremoniously offer the sod to their animals.
This is a video installation work, in which an American field research scientist character performs experiments to prove the insubstantiality of political barriers from a natural law perspective. The video was produced on location at the fence on the closed border between Armenia and Turkey.
I did a residency at the Nest, a program of the Institute for Contemporary Art in Yerevan, Armenia, in the summer of 2018. While there I worked on a social engagement/experimental documentary project, collecting stories of indigenous foods and the cultural effects of displacement from homelands, collaborating with an Armenian diaspora food historian, Mari Firkatian.
THE TREE SPA FOR URBAN FOREST HEALING uses the steam generated as a byproduct of the maple syrup evaporation process to power a communal steam room. Participants take the healing waters of the trees and discuss important matters affecting our communities, in the relaxing social space of a steamroom, while drinking tree juice from the maple trees growing nearby. The Tree Spa is based in Keney Park, in the North End of Hartford, Connecticut, a neighborhood with a poverty rate near 50%.
After my 26 mile walking performance, Mapping the Audible Dominion of the Mission Church Bells, I began leading group walks of public spaces to think about the private property ownership structure we live within. Here are a few images from the first two walks, which were part of a “Day of Action” at Emmanuel College in October, 2017. We circled counterclockwise around the bell tower at the Catholic college where these young people study, performing three widening circumambulations and talking about evidence of the history of the colonization of this land (the homeland of the Massachusett Indigenous Peoples), as we encountered it along the way.
Woodcuts and wood engravings on paper, 36″ x 60″, edition of two, 2017.
This installation consists of a 5′ x 8′ print on paper, a collection of carved wooden block sculptures of various sizes, a set of chess pieces whittled from twigs, a dried common mullein plant, a representation of a monumental roadside religious pilgrimage site built by a distant cousin of mine, my grandmother’s drawing of a piece of driftwood, and the actual piece of driftwood.
I built a small weatherproofed shed and installed it in New Haven as part of A Lot in Our Lives in 2007. I made custom clapboards for the sides, little round windows, and a miniature orange door, and I put asphalt roofing on it. It was pretty sturdy.
This is a work I made at the Center for Book Arts in 2012 when I was a resident artist there. It consists of thirty-six woodcuts and wood engravings from all six sides of six handmade type-high (0.918″) blocks of maple, with an original narrative text & list poem handset in lead Caslon Antique type, letterpress printed in seven colors on a paper booklet & fold-out broadside.
Ted Efremoff organized a show called Insite/Out in June 2012 at Artspace, New Haven, CT. For two weeks I lived and worked in the gallery along with artists James Sham, James Holland, Rebecca Parker, and Ariana Jacob. For me, this was a return to a neighborhood in which I had previously done a major project (A Lot in Our Lives). I had also grown up going to punk shows around the corner at a club called the Tune Inn that is no longer around. The neighborhood has been gentrifying and developing a lot since I’ve known it, due to its proximity to Yale and the downtown New Haven Business Improvement District.
This is not just any old business card, but a parody of one, which opens out to an accordion-fold book with a very long, very irreverent list-poem of every job or identity construct I have ever had in my life.
Drypoint illustration, with pen and oak gall ink script on paper. 5 1/2″ x 6 3/4.” Made while in residence at the Center for Book Arts in 2012. The text is a fragment from the poem “Wilderness,” by Carl Sandburg.
This work imagines what it would be like to convene an inter-species committee about the monumental environmental crises we face on Earth. The acronym, C.R.I.E.R.S., stands for “the Committee for Relentless Inquiry into the Earth’s Regretful Situation.” Click on the image to view it bigger so you can read it.
This was a project I organized with Ted Efremoff. We built this boat in Willimantic, Connecticut, in three weeks. It is a wooden lapstrake canoe with a canvas sail. It was built with the help and participation of about 100 people from the local area.
In the winter of 2009-2010 I was working on how to collect Sycamore (London Plane) sap from all the street and park trees in New York, and boil it down for Sycamore syrup, which reportedly is like maple syrup, but a little more “mediocre.” I documented that project along with some other related thoughts and experiences in a work called We Common, published by ISCP in an exhibition catalog Out of the Blue, and online at the Center for Collective Wealth.
Cloud City is an imagined utopia somewhere out there… A collaboration with Huong Ngo and numerous participants…
The Beeline Transit Map is a reimagining of the NYC subway map. It shows the routes that birds, bugs, and bees might take to get around the city, hopping from greenspace to greenspace, to point out how important those spaces are. Huong Ngo and I drew it by hand with watercolor and pencil.
This was a wide-ranging project I did in 2009, collaborating with Huong Ngo. It was part of an alternative pedagogy project she was organizing called Secret School. We started thinking about all the other secret gardens, the ones that you don’t even know are there, tucked away onto rooftops and hidden in backyards.
We worked with a group of collaborators organized by BryanMarkovitz, to create an alternative tour of the Watermill Center in the Hamptons, drawing on various cues and interests of the group, especially the writings of Raymond Roussel. We dressed up in silly costumes, dressed visitors up in silly costumes, dressed up Robert Wilson‘s tribal art collection in silly costumes, made a soap opera about our group of collaborators, made a lot of really good food, laughed, sang songs, and started a band with some elementary school kids called “the Wild Animals.” Good times!
I’ve been out riding my tricycle a lot. I found it back in 2004. It was in pieces. I fixed it up, added some bells and whistles, and started riding. I like it, it gets me moving. Doing it. You know, getting into it, active.
Sam Ekwurtzel and I made a sauna by the lake at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007.
This project in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, ran April through September of 2007. It consisted of a variety of activities centered around a public space called The Lot, sponsored by Artspace. I worked in collaboration with various people around the city who have some relationship to the space, to develop interactive projects to place there.
I got the chance to go to Belgrade, Serbia to do a project for an art festival there called “Night of Museums.” I decided to work spontaneously, with whatever materials were at hand, to make an environment that would encourage people to play together as if we were kids. There was one kid about 3 or 4 years old, who played with me for a long time. He was way better at playing make believe than I was. We had a castle and a whole kingdom going under that black sheet in the background.